The fourth SummerSlam event featured a wedding in the ring as the main event. Really? Yes, really. It was the wedding of Randy Savage and Elizabeth in the main event slot even though they were already married seven years earlier and ended up divorcing less than a year later. The company billed it “A Match Made In Heaven” while also promoting a handicap match main event with WWE Champion Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior teaming up against Iraqi sympathizers Sgt Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa and General Adnan. That match was called “A Match Made In Hell” to try to put over the rivalry.
The match I remember most from this event was for the Intercontinental Title because it was incredible.
WWE SummerSlam 1991
Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
August 26, 1991
The show began with Vince McMahon doing the voiceovers about how this show will have “red hot action” and yelling about the big moments that are going to happen.
The crowd was hot in MSG. The announce team at ringside is Gorilla Monsoon, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
Analysis: Three-man announce teams weren’t that common in this era like they are today. Good to have Gorilla and Bobby together since they were my favorite team from this period.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Texas Tornado & British Bulldog vs. The Warlord, Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) w/Slick
(Pre-match notes: Dragon, Tornado and Bulldog were the faces while Slick’s team were the heels.)
Roma and Steamboat started it with some fast-paced action. When Hercules got in the ring, Steamboat took him down with an arm drag. Tornado worked over Hercules with the ten punch count in the corner followed by a punch to the face. Bulldog and Warlord tagged in for a power showdown. Leaping clothesline by Bulldog on Warlord followed by an impressive suplex for two. Steamboat tried a monkey flip on Warlord that didn’t work, so that led to the heel working over Steamboat for a few minutes. Roma hit three backbreakers in a row on Steamboat at one point. Hercules did a press slam on Steamboat and Warlord tagged in with a body slam. Steamboat got some momentum, but Hercules stopped him with a stun gun that sent Steamboat into the top rope. Another body slam by Warlord, who had a limited skill set. Warlord went for some crappy move off the middle rope, so Drago got his feet up. Hot tag to Tornado with punches for all the heels. Bulldog tagged in, jumped on Warlord and Tornado hit a spinning punch on Warlord. Roma in the ring, Bulldog caught him in the Running Powerslam and that got a two count as Warlord saved. Steamboat tag and he hit a cross body block off the top onto Roma for the pinfall win for his team at 10:43.
Winners by pinfall: Ricky Steamboat, Texas Tornado & British Bulldog
Analysis: **1/2 Solid opening match to put over the faces to make the crowd happy with the opener. Steamboat’s selling was great like usual. It built to the hot tag well. Bulldog and Tornado didn’t do much in the match except for the finish.
Mr. Perfect and The Coach was interviewed by Sean Mooney in the locker room. Perfect said he was the greatest champion and he was perfect. It was quick.
Bret Hart entered to a big ovation. This was the year where he broke free as a singles wrestlers after about six years as a tag wrestler in WWE. Bret’s parents Stu and Helen were in the crowd. Mr. Perfect was booed as the heel in the match.
Intercontinental Championship: Mr. Perfect (w/The Coach) vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart
(Pre-match notes: Perfect was the heel champion and Hart was the face. Perfect had a back injury going into the match. Coach was a former wrestler named John Tolos, but he was just called The Coach in WWE.)
They did some solid mat wrestling to start. Hart got a cross body block and then a sunset flip. Hart slapped on a headlock. Perfect tried to get some momentum, but Hart stopped him with a stomp to the stomach. Perfect got a body slam, Hart hit a body slam of his own and Hart hit a clothesline that sent Perfect out of the ring. Perfect tried to leave, so Hart brought him back into the ring. They showed Stu & Helen watching, so Heenan said they looked concerned because they snuck in leading to Gorilla’s classic “will you stop?” line. That was great. They locked up in the corner, the ref separated them and Perfect punched Hart in the face to knock him down. Perfect with a kick to the ribs that sent Hart out of the ring. Hart was on the apron, so Perfect shoved the ropes and Hart went crashing into the barricade although there was a photographer that softened the blow. Back in the ring, Hart got a rollup for two and Perfect slowed him down again with a punch. Perfect whipped Hart hard into the turnbuckle for a two count. Flipping neck snap from Perfect earned a two count. Perfect hit a dropkick that sent Hart out of the ring again. Perfect slowly climbed the ropes, Bret went up after him and Perfect knocked him down with a punch. Perfect landed on Bret for a two count. Perfect shoved the ref, Heenan said don’t touch the ref, Gorilla said a DQ would save the title and Heenan said “okay hit him!” Heenan is the greatest.
Perfect launched Hart across the ring. Sleeper hold applied by Perfect. Hart got out of it, he went for a pinning move, but Perfect dropped down with him like a Samoan Drop for the win. Perfect whipped Hart into the turnbuckle with Bret taking the bump sternum first, which is one of Bret’s trademark bumps. Perfect connected with the Perfectplex for one…two…and no because Bret kicked out. The announcers were shocked with Heenan saying nobody has kicked out of the Perfectplex. Bret started his comeback with two atomic drops and Bret sent Perfect across the ring leading to Perfect hitting the ring post groin first. Hart with a suplex as Gorilla said “suplex city coming up” and it got a two count. Small package by Hart and a Russian legsweep each earned two counts for Hart. Backbreaker by Hart followed by the elbow smash off the middle rope for two. Perfect with a rollup, Hart kicked out and Perfect bumped to the floor. Hart whipped Perfect into the ring post and Hart brought Perfect back in. Hart kicked the back of Perfect’s leg and went for a Sharpshooter. Coach on the apron, Bret punched him down and when the ref checked on Coach, Perfect kicked the ropes, which is like hitting a low blow. Fans chanted “Let’s Go Bret” for Hart as Perfect hit a leg drop to the gut. Perfect went for it again, Hart grabbed the leg, turned him over and slapped on the Sharpshooter. Perfect gave up quickly leading to Hart winning the IC Title for the first time at 18:04.
Winner by submission and New Intercontinental Champion: Bret Hart
The crowd was going wild as Bret celebrated with the title and Gorilla said his famous line: “The crowd is going bananas.” The crowd was really loud in celebrating Bret’s win.
Analysis: ****1/4 What a fantastic match. This was a straight up wrestling match full of action for 18 minutes. In Bret’s book and DVD he talks about how hurt Mr. Perfect was with his back injury, yet he wanted to go out there to have this classic match with Bret because they were such great friends with a lot of respect for one another. Twenty-six years later it’s still a great match with a lot of awesome counter wrestling. The big moment in the match for me was when Perfect put on the Perfectplex (bridging suplex) and Bret kicked out of it. At that time, nobody had ever kicked out of a Perfectplex. This was back in the day when kicking out of finishers almost never happened. Perfect sold it great. There were some great nearfalls that followed that, but the end came when Perfect went for a legdrop. While on his back, Bret caught the leg, got back up and slapped on the Sharpshooter for one of the best counters I’ve ever seen. It was the (excuse the pun) perfect way to end the match for the Excellence of Execution. Bret’s singles career gained a lot of momentum by beating Perfect because he was a dominant champion. This is how you put somebody over in a clean and effective manner. Two of the best ever on the big stage in MSG doing their thing. This is when the IC title mattered the most too. It was one of the most memorable matches in the careers of both legends. (Most of that was written in a column I did a few years ago. No need to change it.)
After the match, Bret walked over to his parents Stu and Helen Hart in the crowd. Lord Alfred Hayes tried to do an interview, but that didn’t go well, so they ended it.
There was a commercial for “Hulk Hogan A Real American Story” coming to PPV in October. I have no memory of that at all.
The Bushwhackers were with Andre The Giant about to be interviewed by Okerlund. A clip aired of Earthquake attacking Andre from behind. Bushwhackers did some yelling and Andre said he had the chance to get even now.
Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) w/Jimmy Hart vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) w/Andre the Giant
(Pre-match notes: Natural Disasters are the heels while The Bushwhackers were the faces. Andre has crutches to support him. This is not going to be a good match. Please don’t go long.)
The Bushwhackers whipped Typhoon into Earthquake and then they did the Battering Ram to Typhoon. Double clothesline by the Bushwhackers on Earthquake. Andre was seated at ringside. Earthquake recovered and missed the slowest elbow drop ever. Earthquake ended up connecting with an elbow drop to the back of Butch. Typhoon got in the ring and sent Butch back first into the turnbuckle. Earthquake entered the ring illegally with a bearhug on Butch. Typhoon hit an elbow smash for two. Earthquake in, he missed a forearm on Butch and accidentally hit Typhoon. Luke got the hot tag with a running headbutt to knock down Typhoon. Battering Ram connected on each guy by the Bushwhackers. Earthquake hit a backbreaker on Butch on the floor. The ref was distracted by Andre for some reason. Double team squashing by the fat guys. Earthquake hit his running splash on Luke for the pinfall win at 6:27.
Winners by pinfall: Natural Disasters
Analysis: 1/2* Awful match with very little excitement. I was happy when it ended. This is one of those matches that would have benefited from less time.
Post match, the Natural Disasters stared at Andre and tried to go after him, but Legion of Doom entered the ringside area to prevent an attack. Natural Disasters left. Andre even hit Earthquake with some cane shots.
Analysis: This was Andre’s last major appearance on WWE TV. Sadly, he died in January 1993 when he was 46 years old. He is one of the biggest living legends in WWE history.
Bobby Heenan was shown backstage walking with the NWA/WCW World Title in his hands. He knocked on Hulk Hogan’s locker room door. The door opened (we couldn’t see who it was) and Heenan said on behalf of the real World’s Champion Ric Flair he wanted to challenge Hogan at any time, any place and the door slammed on his face. Heenan told the cameraman to get the camera off him to end it.
Analysis: I had totally forgotten about that moment. It’s pretty significant because it was one of the first mentions of Ric Flair in WWE. He wasn’t on this show yet, but he got to WWE soon after.
There was a shot of Randy Savage talking on the phone about his wedding later.
The “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase and Sensational Sherri were interviewed by Sean Mooney. Clips aired of Dibiase being a jerk to Virgil to set up their match with Dibiase’s Million Dollar Title on the line. Dibiase had a towel in his hands that he called the crying towel for Virgil.
Million Dollar Championship: “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase (w/Sensational Sherri) vs. Virgil
(Pre-match notes: Dibiase was the heel defending the title he created. Virgil was the face that used to be the bodyguard for Dibiase.)
Virgil greeted Piper on commentary because Piper mentored him. Virgil was on fire to start the match with three clotheslines that sent Dibiase out of the ring. Back in the ring, Virgil hit an atomic drop with Dibiase bumping over the top to the floor. Heenan returned on commentary, so Gorilla and Piper mocked him for his failure. Virgil missed a cross body block attempt on the floor, so he went crashing into the floor. Dibiase took control with a clothesline followed by his patented fist drop. The offense from Dibiase continued with a double ax handle off the turnbuckle for two. Virgil slapped on the Million Dollar Dream sleeper. Sherri was freaking out, so she went into the ring and hit Virgil in the back of the head with the dreaded purse. The referee rang the bell for the disqualification with the announcers noting that the disqualification will not mean a title change.
The ref Earl Hebner talked to ring announcer Howard Finkel. That led to Finkel announcing the ref has ejected Sherri from ringside. The referee has ruled that the match will continue. The crowd cheered loudly. Sherri was escorted to the back by officials.
The match continued with Virgil slamming Dibiase’s head into the turnbuckle ten times. There was a hard whip into the corner by Virgil followed by the ten punches in the corner. They did a spot where Dibiase reversed a whip attempt and Dibiase whipped Virgil into the referee against the turnbuckle, so Hebner bumped and he was out in the ring. Dibiase hit Virgil with three suplexes in a row while the ref was down. Dibiase connected with a piledriver, he covered, slapped the hand to count and there was no ref. Dibiase kicked the ref down when he nearly got back up. Dibiase took off the turnbuckle pad to expose the steel in the corner. Dibiase tried to send him into the exposed turnbuckle, but Virgil sent Dibiase head first into the steel turnbuckle two times in a row. Ref Hebner got back to his feet to count them both down. Virgil did a slow crawl to Dibiase and covered for the one…two…and three to win at 13:11.
Winner by pinfall and new Million Dollar Champion: Virgil
Analysis: **1/4 Solid match with an upset ending so Virgil was not an established wrestler while Dibiase was, so Virgil finding a way to win was a big deal at the time. The last few minutes were full of drama with the ref bump. It was an effective booking trick to build to the slow cover by Virgil where found a way to get the win.
Post match, Virgil celebrated with the title while Piper was ecstatic on commentary.
The Mountie was interviewed by Mean Gene doing a promo full of yelling about his match with Big Boss Man. There was also a clip The Mountie using a taser to attack Boss Man in the build to the feud.
Big Boss Man was interviewed Sean Mooney in the interview about their Jailhouse Match.
Jailhouse Match: Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart)
(Pre-match notes: Boss Man was the face while The Mountie was the heel. It was a Jailhouse Match where the loser had to spend the night in jail. Both guys were essentially policemen characters, so that was the theme of this rivalry.)
Boss Man was on fire early with power moves including a running splash. After a couple of minutes of Boss Man offense, Mountie hit a thumb to the eye. Mountie jumped off the turnbuckle, Boss Man caught him and hit him with a spinebuster. Hart distracted Boss Man, so Mountie attacked Boss Man from behind by shoving him into the steel steps. Mountie rolled Boss Man back into the ring. Running back elbow by Mountie followed by a hard whip into the corner. Boss Man tried a comeback where he missed a corner attack and hit the turnbuckle hard. Mountie hit a dropkick. Forearm by Mountie while Boss Man was near the apron. Mountie bit Boss Man in the face to slow him down and Mountie connected with a piledriver. Hart distracted the ref, so Boss Man knocked the taser out of his hand. Boss Man came back with an uppercut. Boss Man whipped Mountie into the ropes and hit the Boss Man Slam for a two count as Mountie got his shoulder up. Both guys staggered back to their feet, Boss Man countered a piledriver attempt and hit an Alabama Slam for the pinfall win at the 9:38 mark.
Winner by pinfall: Big Boss Man
Analysis: *3/4 A boring match for the most part, but it didn’t go too long so that’s okay. The Mountie’s matches were so slow and boring. Having the face Boss Man win made sense in the storyline because it was payback for Mountie’s cheap attacks against him. The crowd wasn’t into this match as much as some of the others on the card.
Post match, Boss Man dragged Mountie out of the ring and called for cops to take him away, so they did.
Boss Man and the cops walked Mountie out of the arena with cameras there to capture it all. Mountie was shoved into the cop car and they left.
They did intermissions during this time of PPVs, so here’s the order of who was interviewed and I’m not going to recap them all because it’s just time killing. It was Ted Dibiase with Sherri, Bret Hart, The Natural Disasters, Big Boss Man, The Mountie was shown being put in jail, The Nasty Boys, The Mountie was shown getting photographed, Legion of Doom, The Mountie did his fingerprints in jail, Sgt. Slaughter spoke about the main event and Sid was the last man to speak.
Analysis: All of that took about 12 minutes. There really wasn’t anything significant there other than trying to give the fans a break.
WWE Tag Team Championships Street Fight: Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) w/Jimmy Hart vs. Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)
(Pre-match notes: Nasty Boys were the heel champs and LOD were the faces. Huge ovation for LOD on their entrance.)
Huge pop for LOD on their entrance. This is Street Fight rules, so anything goes. Animal hit a Powerbomb on Knobbs early for a two count. Hawk hit an enziguri kick on Sags. The ref was distracted by Animal, so Sags used some spray to the eyes of Hawk. Sags hit Hawk with a tray of drinks. The ref made the partners stay in their corner even though it’s Street Fight rules with no disqualification, so why must the wrestlers stay in their corner? The heels isolated Hawk in their corner. Running splash in the corner by Knobbs on Hawk. Sags went up top and connected with his shitty elbow drop off the top for a two count. Knobbs went for a splash off the middle rope, but Hawk got his boot up to block it. Animal got the hot tag with clotheslines for both heels. Powerslam by Animal on Knobs got two as Sags made the save. Sags sent Hawk out of the ring. The ref paid attention to Hawk on the floor while Sags hit Animal in the back with a helmet. They don’t need to do the ref distract spots in a Street Fight, but they keep doing it. Knobbs went for a pin on Animal, which led to a power kickout by Animal. Hawk went after Hart on the floor, got the helmet and hit Knobbs with it. Hawk hit Sags in the back with the helmet. Animal put Sags on his shoulders, Hawk went up top and hit the clothesline to complete the Doomsday Device and Animal covered Sags for the win at 7:45. Huge ovation for the win.
Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Legion of Doom
The crowd went wild for that pinfall win to end the match. They were cheering loudly and chanting “LOD” for the new champs. It was the first of two WWE Tag Title reigns by LOD. No replays of the finish, which is surprising.
Analysis: *3/4 Good moment with LOD winning the titles, but boring match that could have been better if it was done like a Tornado Rules Street Fight rather than with regular tags. The heels were distracting the ref a lot of time even though they could legally cheat, so there was no need to do the distractions in the first place. It was still a cool moment with the title change and the fans loved it, but I thought the structure of the match could have been a lot better.
There was a clip of The Mountie being put in a jail cell.
A brief commercial aired for Survivor Series 1991, which I have already reviewed and you can read about here.
Irwin R. Schyster made his entrance. He did a promo about telling people to pay taxes with the fans booing him.
Irwin R. Schyster vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
(Pre-match notes: IRS was the heel that was new on the scene. Valentine was the face even though he was usually a heel during his career.)
I don’t remember Valentine as a face very often because he was usually a heel. In the first few minutes, Valentine kept doing moves and Schyster rolled to the floor repeatedly to avoid dealing with him. Back in the ring, Schyster did an abdominal stretch while grabbing the ropes. Valentine missed a knee drop and Schyster hit a running clothesline for a two count. He would use that as a finisher many times too. Backbreaker by Schyster. Irwin went up top, which allowed Valentine time to recover with a slam off the top. Running knee in the corner by Schyster missed as Valentine went to work on the left knee. The crowd cheered as Valentine slapped on the Figure Four Leglock with Heenan saying he didn’t think IRS would get to the ropes, which he did about one second later. Valentine went for an elbow drop, Schyster moved and Valentine hit a knee breaker. Valentine with a headbutt. Valentine went for the Figure Leg Lock again, Schyster got an inside cradle and it was enough to get the win at 7:07.
Winner by pinfall: Irwin R. Schyster
Analysis: *1/2 Quick match to put over IRS as a midcard heel. Valentine was one of the most boring wrestlers of this era and using him as a face just seemed weird. His role was to be the veteran that put over the newer heel.
There was another commercial for the Hot Ticket PPV special about Hulk Hogan.
Hulk Hogan, the WWE Champion, and Ultimate Warrior were interviewed by Mean Gene on the interview set. It was a lot of yelling from both guys about how they had to wipe out Sgt. Slaughter and his boys in the main event.
Analysis: It wasn’t as crazy as some of their promos, but still a lot of yelling.
Sid Justice entered first as the referee of the match. Sid was wearing a referee tank top and was cheered heavily.
The heel trio of Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa (Iron Sheik) and General Adnan entered to boos.
Analysis: These guys were old. Adnan was 51, Mustafa was 48 and Slaughter was nearly 43, which isn’t that bad compared to the two. It just showed how WWE was lacking in terms of top heels. When you have a three man team where a 43-year-old is the youngest guy that’s not a good thing.
The Ultimate Warrior entered to a huge ovation with Piper wondering if he can be trusted. Hulk Hogan, the WWE Champion, got a massive reaction from the crowd as usual.
Analysis: This is not going to be a good match. I worry about how bad it’s going to be and hope they managed to use enough tricks to pull it off. The heel side should have had somebody younger that can bump better than these old guys.
Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa & General Adnan – Sid Justice was the referee
(Pre-match notes: Hogan and Warrior were the faces, of course. Slaughter’s group were the heels.)
Hogan beat Slaughter for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 7 while Slaughter beat Warrior for the WWE Title at Royal Rumble 1991 earlier in the year, so this was the backstory for this match. The faces dominated against Slaughter for a few minutes. Hogan did a choke on Slaughter against the turnbuckle, which was done to have Sid break it up. That allowed the heels to take control working on Hogan. Adnan finally tagged in with some eye raking, punches and a back rake. Fans chanted for Hogan as Mustafa tagged in with a butterfly suplex. Mustafa applied the Camel Clutch on Hogan, so Warrior went in the ring to break it up. Backbreaker by Slaughter. They did a spot where Slaughter whipped Hogan into Side in the corner, but it only led to slight shoulder tackle spot. The announcers tried to tell the story of Sid possibly siding with Slaughter’s side, but there wasn’t much to it. Slaughter went to the top rope and Warrior shoved him. Sid saw that and didn’t even reprimand Warrior for that. Warrior tagged in on Slaughter with punches, four clotheslines and Warrior bumped into Sid inadvertently. Adnan in with more back rakes. What an offensive juggernaut he is. Now that’s sarcasm. Mustafa in and Warrior hit a suplex. Slaughter back in with more choking on Warrior. Leaping clothesline by Warrior on Slaughter led to the hot tag to Hogan.
Hogan was on fire with the fans going crazy for him. Hogan went straight to his finishing routine with the punches, big boot and Warrior took care of Mustafa and Adnan. Warrior chased Mustafa and Adnan back to the locker room. Hogan threw some dust in Slaughter’s eyes and hit the leg drop for the pinfall win as Sid counted (not an angle, he just counted fast) and that’s it at 12:40.
Winners by pinfall: Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior
Analysis: ** I feared it being a terrible match, but it ended up being passable at least. The energy that Hogan and Warrior could get out of the crowd was unmatched in this era, so that helped because it let us know how much the crowd cared. Slaughter worked most of the match for the heel side because his partners were too old to work too much.
Post match, Hogan celebrated with his usual routine. Hogan called for Sid to come back down to the ring to celebrate with him.
Analysis: Warrior wasn’t a part of it because he complained about money to Vince McMahon leading up to the event and was fired after the show was over, so WWE didn’t want to put him over. Sid was a face here, but they did the angle at the 1992 Royal Rumble leading to Sid vs. Hogan as the WrestleMania 8 main event. Speaking of WrestleMania 8, that’s where Warrior made his return to the company.
There was a shot of The Mountie in jail with a couple of guys in the cell with him. One of them was hitting on him as the announcers laughed about it.
A clip aired from an in-ring segment with Randy Savage, Miss Elizabeth and Mean Gene interviewing them. That led to Savage proposing marriage to Elizabeth. Savage uttered the famous line: “Elizabeth…Elizabeth…will you marry me?” Then Vince McMahon on commentary was marking out about it. Elizabeth said: “Oh yeah!”
Analysis: At the time, Savage was retired after his WrestleMania 7 match with Ultimate Warrior and wasn’t wrestling, so that’s why they set up this angle for SummerSlam.
A video package aired to show some highlights of the Savage and Elizabeth relationship on screen in WWE.
Savage entered the ring for the wedding (the ropes were taken down) and Elizabeth was out next. I’m not going to recap it, but the show ended with their wedding. Savage’s music played to end the night.
Analysis: In reality, they were already married in 1984. Their marriage was actually falling apart at this point and they got a divorce in 1992. Did I know that at the time in 1991? Of course not. I watched this thinking it was really because I was just a kid that didn’t know better.
The wedding was followed up with a great post wedding segment with Jake Roberts and The Undertaker crashing the wedding party. When Randy and Liz were opening up gifts, there were snakes in them. That led to Roberts attacking Savage and a few months later, Savage un-retired as a face that was seeking revenge.
This event has a run time of 2 hours, 43 minutes on WWE Network.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– Bret Hart’s win over Mr. Perfect was clearly the highlight of the show. Not really came close to that. I admire how hard Perfect worked even with a serious back injury. Perfect missed over a year of action due to the injury.
– The faces won every match except the Bushwhackers and Valentine, who was never that good as a face anyway. You don’t see that many shows where that many of the faces win, but for whatever reason, that seemed like the theme of the night.
– In addition to the faces winning a lot of the match, there were also three title changes if you want to count Virgil’s title win.
– The Virgil victory over Dibiase was booked in such a way that people considered it one of the biggest upsets ever. It’s a reason why doing long-term angles can have a nice pay off if you book it the right way. It’s something today’s WWE could learn because they rush angles so often.
– This event did a reported 405,000 PPV buys, which was a pretty good number although it was 220,000 less than two years earlier. It actually beat WrestleMania 7 from earlier in the year, which was the only time a SummerSlam beat a WrestleMania in PPV buys. There was a significant drop off in the years that followed because it was the last SummerSlam without Hogan until he returned to WWE in the 2000s. As I mentioned before, 1998 is the highest SummerSlam PPV buys number ever with 700,000 for Austin vs. Undertaker as the main event.
Best Match: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
Worst Match: Natural Disasters vs. The Bushwhackers
Most Memorable Moment: Bret Hart winning the IC Title was special. Also, the reaction for LOD’s win was memorable too.
- Bret Hart
- Mr. Perfect
- Legion of Doom
- Ted Dibiase
Show rating (out of 10): 4.5
Below average show that would have been terrible if not for Hart vs. Perfect saving it. I think if you liked watching face wrestlers win big matches when you were a kid then you probably love this show. There are a lot of big moments that I remember well, but some of them don’t hold up that well all these years later.
Matches With Ratings ****+ (out of 5*) and higher:
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect @ SummerSlam 1991 (****1/4)
Ranking SummerSlam Reviews (on 1-10 scale)
SummerSlam 1989 (Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus) – 5.5
SummerSlam 1988 (Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks) – 5
SummerSlam 1991 (Match Made In Heaven & Hell) – 4.5
SummerSlam 1990 (Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude) – 3.5
Check out the SummerSlam Reviews archive. Thanks for reading.